The president has a dilemma.
What in the world is he going to do about Syria’s use of chemical weapons?
The president drew the proverbial “red line” in the sand and Assad stomped all over it.
In truth, the president made a terrible mistake with the whole “red line” threat. Never utter a challenge unless you are prepared to back it up.
Now he has to do something or his “word” means nothing.
So what does he do?
He’d like to take out Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons; said to be the largest in the world. But to do so risks releasing the gas and killing thousands of innocent civilians.
He’d like to arm the rebels and let them do the heavy lifting for him. But it is estimated that 60% of the rebel forces are either Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda splinter groups. Sending weapons to our enemies is not a good move. Been there…done that!
And although he said: “Assad must go!” He’s really not sure if a regime change is such a good idea. If Assad DOES go, who steps in to the power vacuum? Al Qaeda! Iran! Hezbollah!
He also has to decide if he wants to go this alone. His closest ally, Britain, wants more time to hash it out with parliament. France is tepid at best. Jordan has refused to allow him to send attacks across their airspace. Russia and China have blocked any attempts at a UN coalition. Any attack he authorizes will be met with retaliation against Israel. When that happens everything goes to hell.
The home front isn’t much better. McCain naturally wants him to turn Syria into a wasteland while most of his opponents want him to discuss the matter with congress before doing anything. And Donald Rumsfeld thinks attacking Syria is a bad idea…as if anybody cares what Donald Rumsfeld thinks.
As for the American people…they want a job. They couldn’t care less about what goes on in Syria. The thought of another Middle East war leaves them cold. And the thought of spending millions if not billions of borrowed dollars on another war when we can’t afford to take care of our own; makes them very, very angry.
The president tried to explain himself last night in a national interview. He sounded an awful lot like Bush 43 making the case to go into Iraq. Not a good start. And like Bush, President Obama seemed to be saying: “killing over 100,000 of your own people with conventional weapons is ok. But killing a few hundred with chemical weapons is a no, no.
The truth is there are no good options. None! But the president feels that he has to inflict some form of punishment on Assad for crossing his foolishly drawn red line.
The president has a dilemma!